Niente salvia a maggio
12×16 cm, 64 pp
No sage in May
There’s a common saying that goes: “If you eat sage in May, you will live longer”. The title of this story refers to – and quite ironically reverses – the saying.
“Amidst the whole lot of the world’s facts & numbers, on the very last page of the national press, there was a tiny agency dispatch: a suicide. A man built a guillotine in his bedroom and beheaded himself. Apparently, he managed to build it in just one day, while his family wasn’t at home. Why did he do it? I felt that man wanted to tell us something. I had to understand.”
This short introduction hints strongly at the book’s leading theme – one very often passed over in silence. Suicide is an extremely complex, personal act; it is frequently looked upon with prejudice and drags out all sorts of stereotypes. Some are in their right mind when they take their own life, even though most people find it hard to believe it.
The main character of this story is sick and tired of his “dull life”: he’s aware that he has done virtually nothing to change it and decides to kill himself. He blames himself for all his shortcomings as well as the world’s. He takes the sins and shortcomings of all mankind on his shoulders, almost in an attempt to cleanse society and make it better. He does not wish to criticize society in general; he is pointing a finger at our apathy, which for so many of us is almost second nature. We seem to have forgotten how to live. In order to make his suicide as conspicuous as possible while ensuring he does not come off as a lunatic, the protagonist draws his inspiration from history itself: that’s why he decides to build a guillotine in his bedroom. Here we witness the last day of his life, amidst strange characters, droll circumstances and – as ironic as it might seem – a sheer love for life.
Flavio Stroppini was born in Gnosca in 1979. He obtained a degree in Narrative techniques at the Holden School of Turin and he writes for several literary magazines and journals.
For further information: http://www.flaviostroppini.com
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